Lampe denies Brazil as Bolivia grab draw

LA PAZ: A superb performance by Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe frustrated Brazil here Thursday as the five-time World Cup winners were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw in their dead rubber qualification game.

With Brazil already assured of top spot in South America's 2018 World Cup qualification race, and Bolivia already eliminated from contention, neither side had much to play for in the thin air of La Paz.

Brazil dominated much of the possession and had the better chances but striker Neymar was left unable to add to his tally of 52 international goals after a defiant performance from Lampe.

The 1.92m Lampe pulled off a string of stunning blocks to deny the Paris Saint-Germain superstar as Brazil threatened to run riot in the first half.

Lampe first frustrated Neymar midway through the first half, diving to save.

Moments later, he produced a stunning block from Gabriel Jesus, with Paulinho dummying to set up the Manchester City striker.

Jesus picked his spot and shot to the right of Lampe but the goalkeeper dived to his left and blocked with his face.

Four minutes later, Lampe rescued Bolivia once again, quickly getting out to check Neymar's advance as the striker raced in on goal.

Neymar recovered his balance and unleashed a fierce shot towards goal but defender Gabriel Valverde was on hand to clear off the line.

From the rebound, Neymar was able to get off another shot, but again Valverde cleared to cap a remarkable sequence.

Bolivia might have taken a shock lead on the stroke of half-time when Diego Bejarano's thunderous long-range effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar only to bounce out.

Lampe maintained his form in the second half, denying Jesus in the 83rd minute with a fine save from the striker's header. — AFP